PP buyers in Turkey, Italy and Egypt have slowed down buying, expressing their reluctance to purchase high tonnages these days, preferring to meet their urgent needs on hand to mouth basis. As per Chemorbis, PP markets in these countries have slowed after being rather steady for the last couple of weeks after starting the month of February with increases.
Limited volumes of sale has been seen on lackluster demand as most converters prefer to wait in the sidelines, stating that they are not building high volumes as most of their end-product markets are still facing the low season. The upcoming new capacities from the Middle East and Asia, some of which are scheduled to start operations in March, along with the news that the ongoing production problems at plants of some regional PP producers are expected to be solved by next month also had a hand in buyers reluctance.
Slow performance of end-product markets brought widespread complaints about poor market activity in Egypt as well. Purchases are reported to be restricted to immediate needs and mostly on a weekly basis as converters’ raw material needs are somewhat less than usual at this time of year. Players in the country reported that although the high season for sack producers should traditionally have started at this time of the year, demand is not improving. There are even some buyers reporting that they reduced their operating rates as end products demand is almost dead. Inside the country, some distributors noted that although they attempted to pull the market level up, poor market activity forced them to maintain their offers. In Turkey, after a quiet week last week, PP buyers again began this week in a wait and see mode. One of the main reasons behind buyers’ reluctance to engage in fresh purchases was the Chinese New Year, which is being celebrated this week. Pointing to the absence of Asian players in the PP market, Turkish buyers had reported that they found importing fresh cargoes risky as they believed that sellers may offer some discounts on their prices to speed up their sales this week. Seasonally slow end-demand and the downward momentum in the energy markets are also affecting players’ decisions. Due to limited buying interest, along with the uncertain outlook following the New Year holidays, resellers are also waiting on a cautious note, abstaining from engaging in new purchases for the time being.